Sevilla staged a dramatic comeback on Tuesday night as they drew 3-3 with Liverpool at the Estadio Roman Sanchez Pizjuan in the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds cruised into a 3-0 lead before half-time as Roberto Firmino opened the scoring in only the second minute. The Brazilian added another mid-way through the first period after Sadio Mané had extended the lead with a header.
Sevilla though rallied as Wissam Ben Yedder bagged a quick-fire brace to haul the home side back into the clash with Guido Pizarro thundering home a late equaliser to send the home crowd into raptures.
Rapid Reds fly into the lead
With Maribor and Spartak Moscow drawing 1-1 earlier in the day, both teams only needed a win to qualify for the group stages. The Reds were delighted by getting off to the perfect start in Seville as Roberto Firmino gave them an early lead. Following a corner, the ball fell to the Brazilian unmarked at the far post and he made no mistake as he speared into the top corner with only 88 seconds on the clock.
Lorus Karuis then preserved the Reds’ lead as Sevilla looked to get back on level terms. Former Manchester City forward Nolito broke into the box and cut onto his favoured right foot. The Spaniard attempted to curl the ball home but the German stopper reached out a strong hand and deflected the ball onto the post.
Wissam Ben Yedder also went even closer but could only drag his shot inches wide of the far post.
Mané the man for Liverpool yet again
The visitors though soon seized back control of the game. Firmino displayed excellent pace to escape from the Sevilla defence but could only shoot straight at Sergio Rico. Sadio Mané made no mistake soon after as he nodded in the Reds’ second and it was almost a carbon copy of the first. Phillipe Coutinho whipped the ball in from a corner which found a Liverpool head. A Firmino flick-on fell straight to Sadio Mané who finished with a smart diving header.
Their evening got even better only minutes later. Karius produced a fantastic pass to Mane on the left-wing who attempted to beat Rico. His shot though fell to Firmino in space in the box and the former Hoffenheim man duly smashed into the empty net.
Ben Yedder strikes to give Sevilla hope
Eduardo Berizzo attempted to stem Liverpool’s tide at half-time as he introduced Franco Vazquez for Steven N’zonzi. The change paid off almost instantly as Sevilla pulled a goal back through Ben Yedder. Alberto Moreno gave away a cheap free kick on the right-flank which was whipped in by Ever Banega. The French striker leapt highest to glance the ball into the far post to give his team a glimmer of hope.
Ben Yedder found the net only minutes later as Liverpool collapsed. Moreno appeared to trip the striker in the box and referee Felix Brych pointed to the penalty spot. Ben Yedder stepped up and found the net but was ordered to retake his kick. Then Frenchman did not hesitate in nestling the ball into the opposite corner to drag his team back into the clash.
The home side could have dramatically been level and Ben Yedder could have snatched his hat-trick but was unlucky to see his shot deflect off of the crossbar.
Lax defending costs Liverpool again
Jürgen Klopp tried to settle his team by introducing the likes of James Milner and Emre Can for Coutinho and Moreno. The Reds had the chance to wrap-up the result with only 15 minutes to go but an heroic block from Banega denied Can on the break after he had been teed up by Mohamed Salah.
It did not work however as Sevilla snatched a point with the final kick of the game. Poor defending from a corner saw the ball fall to Guido Pizarro who smashed home through a huddle of bodies and complete a dramatic comeback.
Reds fans will be suitably impressed with how eye-catching their team was when attacking in Seville. Liverpool’s pace proved key as Sadio Mané continued to threaten the Sevilla defence all evening. However, it was an all too familiar story as poor defending cost Klopp’s men yet again on a night they could have qualified for the last-16 of the Champions Leeague. They now need a point against Spartak Moscow in their final game to ensure progression.
Sevilla meanwhile will be delighted that they have managed to earn a point on what looked to be a disappointing night. The hosts were under-par in the first period and deserved to be three goals behind. Ever Banega though stepped up and was key in them earning a point. They will now look forward to the game against Maribor and will, like Liverpool, be expecting qualification for the next round.
Sevilla: Rico (6); Mercado (5), Geis (6), Lenglet (5), Escudero (6); N’zonzi (4) (Vazquez (7), 45′), Banega (8), Pizarro (6); Sarabia (6), Ben Yedder (8) (Correa (N/A), 81′) Nolito (6) (Muriel (6), 72′).
Liverpool: Karius (6); Gomez (6), Lovren (6), Klavan (6), Moreno (5) (Milner (7), 63′); Wijnaldum (6), Henderson (6), Coutinho (6) (Can (6), 63′); Salah (6) (Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A), 87′), Firmino (7), Mane (8).
Goals: Firmino (2′, 30′), Mane (22′), Ben Yedder (51′, 60′ PEN), Pizarro (90+2′)
Referee: Felix Brych
Yellow Cards: Moreno (38′), Banega (45′), Mercado (54′), Henderson (68′), Can (82′)
Red Cards: N/A
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